Nairobi — KCB Group is encouraging schools around the country to take up the 'Infrastructure Loan', to enable them to prepare their facilities ahead of the official re-opening in January 2021.
Speaking exclusively to Capital Business, KCB Head of SME and Agribusiness Naomi Ndele said the learning institutions proposition is expected to help schools implement the COVID-19 containment measures stipulated by the Ministries of Health and Education.
The facility targets infrastructural development such as modifying classes for social distancing, enhancing sanitization by funding the purchase of water tanks and sanitization booths and sinks among others.
The loan facility can also be used to enhance technology in schools through the purchase of hardware such as laptops and computers for virtual learning, software, and training costs.
Naomi said all learning institutions qualify for the loan, adding that the range of the facility depends on the size of the school, their requirements as well as their ability to repay.
"There is a high appetite for the facilities as schools are working extra hard to meet the guidelines set by the ministry. We have received numerous requests across our entire branch network," she said.
Since the onset of the pandemic, KCB Group has restructured facilities worth over Sh1 billion due to the reduced cash flows resulting from the closure of schools.
According to Ndele, the bank has also been offering repayment holidays during the period of school closure to give learning institutions some relief as they get their finances and cash flows back in order.
Naomi added that the bank will continue engaging and working in partnership with the Ministry of Education and private sector partners who include the Kenya Private Schools' Association, whose membership is drawn from owners of private schools all over the country.
These strategic partnerships are expected to enable KCB Group customize products for the learning institutions, and give the necessary support required.
"This is in addition to providing unsecured and secured loans and overdrafts for salaries and short-term expenses for the schools. We have structured our products to accommodate them," she said.
Already, the bank runs the KCB learning institution account which is designed to meet schools' needs.
According to Naomi, the account gives account holders access to the Malipo Portal which is a collection portal given to schools for real-time confirmation of school fees payments.
It enables schools to accept payments from different sources e.g. a KCB Agent, KCB LipaKaro and account transfers on KCB Mobi, KCB Branch, and M-PESA Lipa Karo.